....and all that jazZ

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


31st August 2000
They were all still there when I turned to look. My whole family and my extended family of friends. I had distributed off quite a few of my favourite clothes because i could'nt take them and I could'nt bring myself to throw them. They stood there each wearing a memory. We had fought our way through the crazy Mumbai traffic. It was the night before Ganesh Chaturthi. There was joy and mirth around as people brought home their idols.Patti and Ma had decided that Ganesh Chaturthi was a good day for travel. An auspicious beginning was necessary. I was going in search of my destiny. What was I looking for ? Education was an excuse. I was looking for a dream to live. I was looking for myself.

31st August 2005
Tomorrow I finish 5 years in the USA. I have a masters degree, a job, a good life, a green card. I go to the gym regularly and drink my non-fat mocha with no whip. I look forward to long weekends and save every bit of my vacation so that I can home for 3 weeks every year or so. I am living the immigrant dream. I am yet to become a home-owner with a backyard I tire of mowing, and a SUV mom running between work and home but I am only 26 and I still have time I figure. Is that the destiny I came looking for ? Will it ever take me back to where I argue I truly belong while I stand,feet firmly planted to American soil ? Have I found myself yet?

Time will answer some questions. In another 5 years some wont even make sense anymore. I don't really know where I will be. I don't even know where I want to be anymore. Hopefully I will just stumble upon where I should be. Would I have found what I am looking for ? I doubt it, but ask in me in 5 years form today. 31st August 2010

Eternity is caught in a moment
I am living the memory and the possible
Floating through space
I am here, there and every place
I ever wanted to be
Trying to see
though the clouds that cover my mind
Spread my wings, summon the wind
Its time for my flight
Caught between day and night
I weigh nothing, but my heart is heavier
than it ought to be
I am trying to break free
I finally do and I wave my goodbye
to all those I knew and all those I would
in another moment where eternity collapsed
I say " I am moving on, it time to part."
It is the end of the journey but it is only the start.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I started reading a new book today. Malgudi Days - R.K Narayan. The author's preface made me smile. He is a man with great insights into people and the workings of their simple minds. But before i go on with it i want to put down something, my two pence, for the book I last read that made me smile too. But smile in a different way. Smile because I understood exactly what the author was trying to say and its struck a deep resonant chord. The book was Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse.

To start, I want to recount one of my favourite Krishna tales. Mischievous as the little God was, he sat out eating mud as all little ones do. Yashoda seeing that, comes running out picks him up and says in a loving mock anger "you have been eating mud again, haven't you.." to which little krishna shakes his head in denial. Her mouth curving int a smile she says "open your mouth and let me see.. " and he does... only but that she finds in there The entire cosmos.

The story telling that He/God/Supreme contains the universe in him. Or as i see it, everything in this universe holds a part of Him. That He is time, the beginning the middle and the end all at once. That I am part of His being and He a part of me. The good the bad the beautiful the ugly all of it. Siddhartha is a reaffirmation of that faith of mine.

Siddhartha could be any of us. He is searching for an answer to a question that has but one answer, existence or life as we know it itself. With all its trappings. His journey reminds me vaguely of someone I know, someone who once left in search himself, of himself perhaps. Here is a part of my reply to one such discussion,

"But I will say, (not entirely in the line of your thought though) that
at some base level, all of us find ourselves faced with the same or
similar questions. I feel that we are always seeking answers, but they
lie in the truths around us and we just cannot see them, because we are
trapped by our own failings and our perception is limited by every
faculty of our senses and our own intelligence. I dont know know if that
makes any sense to you.. ! Even if it does, you probably dont agree.
Every moment we live is a piece in the puzzle fitted. Look around you.
In every leaf and stone is the Truth you search for. In the very air
you breathe. Every morning is a miracle. Whoever you are, however you
are , You are a part of the Truth you seek."

Siddhartha re-iterated it. Anyone who has read and understood Siddhartha will know.

On different note, its not a work of literature. Its a work of profound thought. Its not a story or work of fiction. Its a philosophy told through siddhartha's experiences. Its beauty is in its simplicity. siddhartha was also the young prince who went on to become Gautama Buddha. The choice of the name is a great analogy. Our protaginist meets the Buddha and rejects his teachings. Because he believes little or not that his answers lie in another man's words. Like the prince he goes through a whole myriad of experiences ( of the world and the renounced alike) before he makes his peace. With his surroundings. With nature. With the Cosmos. With himself.
The book tells of his journey from seeking to finding that state of harmony. From siddhartha to Buddha.

On a completely different note, I dont know who translated the one that I read. It had a few typos which are very annoying in a good book. I might reread it if I can lay my hands on a different one. :)

Friday, August 12, 2005

by Rabindranath Tagore

I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.

Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illumined freedom.

Love remains a secret even when spoken,
for only a lover truly knows that he is loved.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil
is no freedom for the tree.

In love I pay my endless debt to thee
for what thou art.

Monday, August 08, 2005

"If at 20, you are not a socialist, you are heartless. But at 40, if you are a socialist, you are headless. I agree with Winston Churchill's famous remarks that socialism is nothing but equal distribution of poverty."
- Adi Godrej

Found this statement very interesting. Have my own thoughts which I am not going to elaborate on right now. But wanted to post this before I forgot.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Searching,longing,questioning .. my eyes look to yours. To find but in its warmth all my wants melt into a single desire to give. To give unconditionally. Oh, to live to see that reflected in your eyes. The air is damp with emotion. A solitary tear pauses poetically on the lash. And I blink and look away.

i search the empty skies
For a place to hide
My shame, my loss, my regret
And perhaps cry !

Strobelights, Go-go dancers, the music resounding in my head, an intoxicated state of mind, and we danced like there wasn't another care in the world. It was a year ago that we all went clubbing last. I had almost forgotten how much at one time i used to enjoy it. Sac, remembered you a lot. Our days in grad school and our thrursday nights out :). I don't need a drink to dance, but with two long islands, my feet had a mind of their own. And with friends who kept an eye on me and an arm out for me it was an evening to remember :) Happy birthday again Shy. Your birthdays always rock :).

so we had our first book club meeting as well on sat morning. I made brunch. :) I have never really liked the idea of being in a bookclub because given the limited time in a day I have for my favourite hobby, I ont want to waste it reading things I dont like simply because I commited to it. But I figured that my choice in the books I pick up was getting very limited and I hardly read any contemporary stuff. So decided to give this a shot. This club consists of 5 of us with sorta similar sensibilities so hopefully it should be fun. Each of us had different things we wanted to read so finally put chits :) !! The draw of the lot was Girl with the Pearl earring. I do not like sappy love stories. But am willing to give it a chance. Hope its worth the while :)

Friday, August 05, 2005


Bittersweet chocolate
Bittersweet memories
Bittersweet words
Bittersweet life

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"By popular demand...here comes the email of our great adventure on Mt. San Jacinto.
We started off on a great note, took the tram ride to 8000 ft and walked to the ranger station to sign in our permits. That is when
we realized that we didnt have a map! So Eddy and I went back and got a map ..I was already tired :)) The time was 9.15 AM.

3.5 hours later we are at the peak..scrambling up the rock..desperately trying to get to the peak before it started raining. The next thing we did was desperately scrambling down to avoid being drenched. We barely made it in time to a shack 30 ft below the peak. The next 1.5 hrs we were all sitting in the leaky shack, while a great hailstorm raged outside. That is when the talk began..something about gods, being human, the lady of the woods ( we met her at wellmans's divide and she predicted the outcome of the hike to the very second), humility and even humiliation.
3 hrs later at 5.45 PM 4 weary backpackers arrived at the tram station barely able to walk. As agreed, I am now going to speak for all 4 of us, We were truly HUMBLED. Mt San Jacinto made us feel very human.
For me, I was not only humbled...but i was utterly humiliated. I am not doing any more hikes before machu pichu.
Jo says:
"If we have to suffer, lets just go and suffer in Peru..once and for all".
I concur.
The attached pdf file has some pictures of some of the better moments.


I could not have said it better ! Taking the pic was extremely imp coz we managed to get to the peak which was an achievement of sorts considering we were hugely under-prepared for it. We made many mistakes :

1. Ed stuffed his backpack with cushions to make it heavier instead of more food / water/jackets
2. I carried way too much gatorade and too little water.
3. We didnt carry jackets even though we knew we were expecting it to rain
4. I wore a sleeveless top. STUPID. At 10,800 ft with a hailstorm I was freeezing to death.
5. R.A carried almost 30 pounds. And we had no food other than power bars. Not good at all for the not so well trained !

The wood-witch ( I call her that :) ) saved our lives by telling us exactly what to do in advance and predicting our hike super accurately. Whether it was the altitude or tired bodies affecting the mind or just that the woods were enchanted, that place makes you want to wander off the trail or cut across switchbacks time to time :). Sitting in the middle of the desert its actually lush green on one side of the ranges. Absolutely spectacular. Def worth the time and energy.

Infact every time human will and spirit endures, it is nature who is humbled. It took every ounce of energy in our bodies to finish it. So according to me, in a way, by this strange logic, we humbled Mt San Jacinto :)